Daniel Radcliffe Discusses Drinking and Life on the Road in New Interview

Since wrapping on the final Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe has had roles in film, on Broadway, and on the West End. In a recent interview with the Telegraph, however, the actor opened up about a side of him that his fans don’t often see: his personal life. Discussing everything from sobriety to how his parents have kept him grounded, Daniel explains that he felt the need to prove himself as being more than just Harry Potter:

Let’s face it, I did have a lot to prove. As anyone who gets famous young will feel at some point, you have to prove that you deserve the luck you got.

As Daniel’s interviewer notes, he has gone to extremes for his roles. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he filmed underwater despite being unable to swim, and for his role in the upcoming film Jungle, “he is subsisting on a daily diet of one chicken breast and a protein bar, boosted by coffee and cigarettes.”

While his roles might not be the most normal, his personal life seems to be. He credits his girlfriend, actress Erin Darke, for helping him to adjust to life after Potter:

People always say, ‘How does it feel to have grown up on screen?’ And my answer has always been, I didn’t. Yes, I grew up on film sets, but my first kiss, my  first girlfriend – that all happened very privately off camera. But that scene with Erin [in Kill Your Darlings] where we meet is genuinely a really lovely recording of us flirting with each other, us falling in love.

Daniel, who has talked about his struggles with alcoholism in the past, also explained,

I feel a lot more settled mentally and am more comfortable with what makes me happy. More comfortable with the fact that I am a person [who] loves just hanging out with my friends. Or watching quiz shows. I am comfortable with the things about myself that I used to think, man, am I really boring? Should I be going out and getting wasted all the time?

He adds,

I can’t tell you what kind of drunk I am because I don’t remember what kind of drunk I am. I think I’m probably great – while I’m conscious. But then I have to be looked after, and ultimately I don’t want to wake up to 20 text messages along the lines of, ‘Where are you? Dude, are you OK?’

One of the benefits of sobriety, Daniel says, is that he rediscovered his love of reading:

I was a really voracious reader in my teens, and that was one of the things I found drinking took away from me, bizarrely, as a side effect. I didn’t have the compulsion or energy to read anything. So I’ve got that back.

He also says that he has gotten into exercise, something that he describes as a “cliché of anybody who is quitting something”:

In fact these are the first two days I haven’t trained twice a day for the last two weeks, so I’m slightly having a moment of, oh man. It’s all going [downhill] already!

Concerning his career, Daniel explains that his parents are “incredibly down-to-earth, grounded people” who have helped him to navigate fame. His father, a literary agent, gave up his job to be his son’s manager. His mother helps him to handle his finances:

Left to my own devices,  I wouldn’t be doing anything sensible like investing it [money]. I just wouldn’t have got that together.

Aside from some interesting experiences with fans, including the gift of a rock from a “deeply religious” family, Daniel says that the majority of them are “sweet and respectful and nice.” He still shops at his local Tesco, too:

It sounds so sad, but I love going to the supermarket, doing a shop. I feel I’ve achieved something, been productive.

Spending so much time on the road, Daniel explains that he appreciates the “continuity” of having an assistant and bodyguard, although he didn’t see the point at first:

I used to look at the credits of films and see personal assistant to the personal dresser and [think], [‘]why do you need that[‘]?

He concedes,

If I didn’t have those guys I would have no continuity of people in my life, and it would feel like an endless procession of hotel rooms, and it would be quite lonely, but as it is we’ve got this little travelling family, and it’s lovely.

For more on Daniel Radcliffe’s life after Potter, you can read the full interview here.

What do you think of Daniel’s candidness? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.